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BACKGROUND: Chemokines and their receptors could play key roles in the recruitment of T cells to the asthmatic lung. CCR8 is preferentially expressed on T-helper type 2 cells, and is thought to play a role in the pathogenesis of human asthma. OBJECTIVE: Determine the expression of CCR8 on T cells in blood, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and bronchial mucosa from asthmatics and normal subjects. METHODS: CCR8 expression in blood and BAL from asthma and normal subjects was studied using flow cytometry. CCR8 expression on IFN-gamma+ and IL-4+/IL-13+ blood and BAL T cells was studied following stimulation with Phorbol-Myristate-Acetate and Calcium Ionophore. Paraffin-embedded bronchial biopsies were used to study CCR8 in bronchial epithelium. RESULTS: The percentage of CD3+ cells expressing CCR8 in the blood was higher in asthmatics (4.7+/-0.4%) compared with normal subjects (3.0+/-0.4%; P<0.01). There was an approximately sixfold enrichment of CCR8 on IL-4+/IL-13+ cells compared with IFN-gamma+ T cells (P<0.001) in both asthmatic and normal subjects in both blood and BAL. Significantly more BAL T cells expressed CCR8 in asthmatic (8.6+/-0.8%) compared with normal subjects (3.9+/-0.7%) (P<0.01). In paired blood-BAL samples from asthmatics, significantly more CCR8+CD3+ T cells were present in BAL (9.0+/-0.9%) than in blood (5.6+/-0.9%; P<0.05). There were more CCR8-positive cells in bronchial biopsies from asthmatic (93+/-11 cells/mm2) compared with normal subjects (30+/-16 cells/mm2) (P<0.05). The ligand CCL1 was increased in the BAL of asthmatics compared with normal subjects (35+/-6 vs. 12.9+/-7 pg/mL; P<0.05). CONCLUSION: There may be a role for CCR8 in the recruitment of T cells to the lung in asthmatics.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Exp Allergy

Publication Date





1175 - 1185


Adult, Asthma, Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid, Cell Separation, Chemotaxis, Leukocyte, Female, Flow Cytometry, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Male, Receptors, CCR8, T-Lymphocyte Subsets, T-Lymphocytes, Young Adult